The first round of Indianapolis Colts roster cuts Monday included a surprise in former starting left offensive guard Donald Thomas.
Thought to be a long-term solution when signed to a four-year, $14-million contract in 2013, Thomas tore his right quadriceps in his second game and finished that season on injured reserve. He then tore the quad again in training camp in 2014 and was placed on IR before the season began.
The team appeared to be patient with his recovery, especially in light of the summer decision to cut offensive right tackle Gosder Cherilus just before training camp. Cherilus had been hurt for only one season and his release means $2.9 million in dead cap money this season and $5.8 million in 2016.
Thomas had not practiced with the team this month. He was just activated off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Friday.
Prior to signing with the Colts, Thomas, 29, had played 43 games in four previous seasons with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. His release means the Colts save $3.5 million this season and next, according to overthecap.com.
Also cut Monday were offensive guard Harland Gunn, inside linebacker Nicklas Haag, outside linebacker Zachary Hodges, offensive tackle Tyler Hoover, wide receiver Ryan Lankford, defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton, wide receiver Ezell Ruffin, inside linebacker Justin Shirk, tight end Justin Sinz, running back Abou Toure and center Brandon Vitabile.
The Colts still have one more player move to make to get down to the league-mandated 75 by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The team's final preseason game is Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Rosters must then be reduced to 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday.